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Looking Back on 2021, Looking Ahead to 2022, and More of Your Letters

Despite a strong year last year, many jewelers are pessimistic about 2022.




  • I would love to see the shows come back in full swing, especially hoping Tucson will be more international this year. I am looking forward to hopefully hosting a few “parties” again as our events have been masked, focused on one thing, and without drinks. I am honestly getting tired and losing my inspiration and hope this year rekindles that somehow. — Laura Kitsos, Gem Jewelry Boutique, Oak Park, IL
  • Our overall 2021 was great and we’re looking forward to 2022. I can’t begin to express my disappointment in the SBA and the COVID19 EIDL/PPP process and the FEMA COVID-19 death benefit (sadly, I lost my mom) — except for the work of my local community bank. Billions of dollars have benefitted which small businesses, exactly? I’m so, so looking forward to having 2020 be in my rear view and a very distant memory. — Jill Keith, Enchanted Jewelry, Danielson, CT
  • 2021 ended very well. There is little confidence that it will automatically continue in 2022. The society is changing on so many fronts with respect to the purchase of goods and services, Covid, employment and so on that I feel predictions are just about useless. — John Carom, Abby’s Gold & Gems, Uniontown, PA
  • We were up 50 percent overall for 2022. With that being said, I am very unsure about the future economy. Will the market stay good, will we have an adjustment? Instead of guessing, I plan to make 2022 the year of “saving” and owning all my merchandise 100 percent. I want to be prepared if this is the end of the rainbow. — Stephenie Bjorkman, Sami Fine Jewelry, Fountain Hills, AZ
  • I’m looking forward to selling more lab-grown diamonds, but I really think that the government’s going to have to come in and do some sort of regulation or the diamond castle is going to have to give some type of guidelines for labeling or identifying production standards. The amount of workforce labor that is no longer available to pick up seasonal hires this year was a bit daunting — looking forward to that changing in the upcoming year. I’m also really looking forward to the freedom of travel and the ability to go to a convention and attend educational series and instructional seminars again. To actually be able to physically assess, purchase fine jewelry merchandise and get it shipped in a timely manner. — Denise Oros, Linnea Jewelers, La Grange, IL
  • I love January in Chicago! I love the quiet. I spend as much time as possible on my own doing small simple projects (cleaning out storage, making soup). I keep a sketch book nearby and start the process of “designing the year” and the jewelry to go with it! My design focus will be colored stones, multicolored pieces and creating a couple of aspirational show-stoppers along with less expensive smaller scale pieces that create comprehensive collections. I’m totally stoked! I’m staying optimistic that Tucson will be amazing! (And not shut down — so many people are getting sick — hopefully in a few weeks we will turn the corner on the latest surge.) — Ellie Thompson, Ellie Thompson + Co., Chicago, IL
  • The year ended strong financially and I’m so grateful for that. Most importantly, my team is stronger than ever after we prioritized a better work culture the last two years. In 2022, my goal is to be steadfast: to solidify the foundation we have and be ready, and strong, for whatever curve ball comes our way. — Kyle Bullock, Bullock’s Jewelry, Roswell, NM
  • We are excited to see what 2022 has in store! As we spend the first week organizing, cleaning, touching up the paint on the walls, we head into the new year with a fresh approach of ideas and strategies. We are surely hopeful that Covid disappears, that business continues to grow, and that customers bring in more custom design work! It’s something we love to do! — Daniela Balzano, Water Street Jewelers, Guilford, CT
  • We just want Covid to end and get more of our jewelry listed online, then retire and live on a tropical island. — Gretchen Schaffner, Eytan’s Designs, Sherman Oaks, CA
  • 2022 scares me. I’m curious whether the housing bubble is going to burst this year. I’m also worried about the pandemic and the general malaise of people. Customer attitudes were pretty negative overall in December of 2021. It was a difficult month to be a retail salesperson. We had WAY lower traffic, but people bought higher price items than in the past. — Andrea Riso, Talisman Collection, El Dorado Hills, CA

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He Doubled His Sales Goals with Wilkerson

John Matthews, owner of John Michael Matthews Fine Jewelry in Vero Beach, Florida, is a planner. As an IJO member jeweler, he knew he needed an exit strategy if he ever wanted to g the kind of retirement he deserved. He asked around and the answers all seemed to point to one solution: Wilkerson. He talked to Rick Hayes, Wilkerson president, and took his time before making a final decision. He’d heard Wilkerson knew their way around a going out of business sale. But, he says, “he didn’t realize how good it was going to be.” Sales goals were “ambitious,” but even Matthews was pleasantly surprised. “It looks like we’re going to double that.”

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